School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics


The School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, with its focus on Africa, the Near and Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia, takes culture  - both contemporary and traditional - as the principle lens through which to view the regions of its expertise.

And we see knowledge of the languages of these regions as central to our understanding of culture. Our remit also, therefore, includes the study of linguistics. Our Departmental Centres of Translation Studies and of Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies are home to postgraduate taught programmes and research degrees, focusing on literature, cinema and popular culture.

We are dedicated to decolonising the curriculum and to exploring theoretical perspectives developed beyond Western constructions of knowledge.

Our Head of School says...

We are committed to delivering specialist language-based scholarship in combination with regional focus and disciplinary skills. Nothing can match the intensity and depth of engagement with a different culture than that achieved through knowledge of its language.

We collaborate with numerous universities in the regions of our expertise to offer our students an opportunity to spend a year of study abroad so that they can gain a deeper insight into different societies and cultures and apply their skills to independent study projects. Colleagues are engaged in a wide range of research activities which all feed directly into their teaching, giving students the opportunity to learn from scholars at the cutting edge of their fields.

Our teaching draws closely upon the resources of SOAS’ world-renowned Library and its extensive Africa, Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia collections, as well as all the institutions, galleries and resources on our doorstep throughout London.

Facts and figures

8th in UK

Complete University Guide 2021 (South Asian Studies)

10th in UK

REF 2021 (Modern Languages and Linguistics)

Our research

Our research is driven by a focus on the languages, cultures and texts of the regions on which we work and we engage in the study of literature, linguistics, cinema, visual culture, community engagement, medical humanities, gender studies and a range of interdisciplinary concerns.

We have a strong track record in raising research funding from a range of prestigious funding agencies, both in the UK and overseas and have excellent collaborative research links with universities and NGOs across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.